Game 38: Blue Jays at Red Sox - Mother may we win, please?

Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

The Boston Red Sox (22-15) look to avoid losing their third straight series this afternoon, hosting the Toronto Blue Jays (14-24) at Fenway Park. Boston and Toronto split the first two games of this series, setting up an important third game. Ryan Dempster will try to even his record (2-3, 2.93 ERA), just as he did the last time he faced the Jays. Dempster allowed one run on four hits in six innings, as the Sox beat the Blue Jays in a rubber game last series by a score of 3-1. David Ortiz gets the day off with Mike Carp taking his spot in the lineup. Mike Napoli will be the DH and Carp will play first base.

Here’s Boston’s lineup for the rubber game (first pitch – 1:35 pm EDT):

1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Victorino, RF
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Napoli, DH
5. Nava, LF
6. Carp, 1B
7. Saltalamacchia, C
8. Middlebrooks, 3B
9. Drew, SS

Dempster, P

Newly recalled Chad Jenkins makes his first appearance of 2013 for the Blue Jays. He takes Brad Morrow’s place in the rotation. Morrow was pushed back from his originally scheduled Friday start with soreness in his upper back and neck. Jenkins was called up from Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday.

It ain’t over til it’s over
Although not a save situation, the closer issue continue to be a problem for the Red Sox. Junichi Tazawa entered the ninth inning Saturday after Boston tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth. Tazawa was greeted unkindly by Adam Lind, who sent a solo shot to center for the game-winning run. This comes after Joel Hanrahan blew the last save opportunity by Red Sox pitching, also giving up a home run in the ninth inning against Minnesota on Monday. Hanrahan announced he will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a damaged flexor tendon in his forearm, and possibly seek Tommy John surgery if his unlar collateral ligament is damaged as well. That means Tazawa and Andrew Bailey, once he returns from the DL with a sore right biceps, will remain Boston’s closers the rest of the season.

Looking up for the first time
With Saturday’s loss, and the New York Yankees (22-13) subsequent win, the Red Sox fell out of first place (or at least a share) for the first time all season. Boston spent the first 41 days of the season in first. The Sox and the Baltimore Orioles (22-15) are tied for second, one game back of the Bronx Bombers.

Happy Mother’s Day!
Last, but most certainly not least, I’d like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there today, particularly my mom. You will notice a lot of pink in the parks today, from bats to arm bands to the brand new baseballs with pink stitching. It all is to honor our moms and the incredible job they do on a daily basis. It also is to raise awareness for breast cancer. If you’re headed out to a game today, please donate to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Let us know what you think about tonight’s game by commenting below.

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